The spirit of the Honda S2000 roadster and NSX supercar will live on in the electric era, thanks to two new electric sports cars expected to form part of 30 new Honda electric cars due by 2030.
Honda has revealed plans to launch 30 new electric vehicles by the end of this decade, set to include two new sports cars – and possibly an electric ute.
Announced today, Honda plans to invest $AU53.7 billion (five trillion Japanese yen) into electrification over the next 10 years, which will spawn 30 new electric cars by 2030 – accounting for two million annual sales – and the introduction of solid-state batteries.
Teased alongside the news was a pair of sports cars – “a specialty and a flagship model”, according to Honda – which the company says will be introduced “globally”, and will “embody Honda’s universal sports mindset and distinctive characteristics”.
While details are thin on the ground for now, the car on the left of Honda’s teaser wears proportions akin to a front-engined, rear-drive car – much like the former S2000 convertible – while the car on the right looks ‘mid-engined ‘, fit to be a successor to the soon-to-depart NSX supercar.
Honda – via the boss of its US-focused Acura luxury brand – has previously confirmed another NSX is inevitable, and is all but confirmed to use electric power, following on from the petrol-only, first-generation NSX and hybrid second-generation model .
Alongside the sports cars, to preview its 30 new EVs due by 2030, Honda showcased a teaser image of a line-up of vehicles – including what appears to be a large dual-cab ute, parked next to a supercar and branded as a ” high value-added EV”.
While the three-quarter image shown simply appears to be a blacked-out photo of Honda’s current US-market Ridgeline ute, it indicates Honda may be planning to include a dual-cab ute in its electric line-up – rivaling similar models from Kia , plus Ford, Rivian and Chevrolet stalwarts segment.
It’s not clear how big this ute would be in production form, or if it would be built in right-hand drive.
Alongside the sports cars, Honda’s EV rollout will include 10 new electric models for China by 2027 – with more likely as the end of the decade approaches – powered by batteries from local company CATL.
In North America, Honda has previously confirmed two new large SUV models for 2024 launches – one for the Honda brand (badged Prologue), and the other for its Acura luxury division – developed in conjunction with General Motors, using its Ultium battery technology.
Japanese buyers will be treated to a “commercial-use mini-EV [kei] model” positioned “at the 1-million-yen ($AU11,000) price range” in early 2024 – followed by a passenger version and a larger SUV in the years after – while Europe is set to get at least one new electric SUV , due next year.
From 2026 onwards, Honda will start to roll out a new dedicated electric platform known as ‘Honda e: Architecture’, which is set to spawn a range of EVs from 2027 developed with GM offering ”cost and range that will be as competitive as gasoline -powered vehicles”.
The company wants to offer a full range of electric vehicles by 2030 – from micro cars to flagships – before going electric and fuel cell only by 2040.
Two electric vehicle factories are planned for China, plus another in the US.
Other highlights of Honda’s announcement include plans for a “demonstration” production line for solid-state batteries by mid-2024, and further investments into software companies and autonomous driving technologies.
Honda says it is ”on track” to reduce production costs by 10 per cent compared to 2018 figures, and since then has halved the number of trim choices and options available globally – which is planned to drop to a third of 2018 levels by 2025.
Honda Australia does not currently offer an electric vehicle, previously indicating it has no plans to launch the city-sized Honda E hatchback on sale in Europe.
“The Honda Motor Co., Ltd. briefing earlier [on Tuesday] on its business initiatives in automobile electrification mentioned plans to introduce two sports models, which will embody Honda’s universal sports mindset and distinctive characteristics, but no further details are available at this stage,” a company spokesperson told Drive.